If you’ve ever tried to get your kiddo to choose broccoli over mac-n-cheese, then you know the infamous words no child wants to hear. The persuasive tactic that may work on adults but has no power on the minds of little humans.
The words: “It’s healthy.”
In fact, by uttering these 2 words, you will have the opposite effect you intended! That’s why if you want to instill healthy habits in your kiddos, then you’ll need to play on their turf. Here are the 5 steps to making healthy habits for kids easy peasy!
1. Create a Routine
Routines are the glue to healthy habits that stick. If we can get our kiddos on a routine, then healthy habits become the friend that gives them predictability rather than the oogey boogey man ruining their fun. Here are a 3 tips to get your little one on a routine:
Keep It Simple
Elaborate routines will only lead to confusion. Instead focus on one thing at a time and wait until a habit is cemented before building upon it.
Creating habits with friends is always better than doing it alone. So join your little one in their new routine or, with siblings, have your kiddos do it together.
Consistency Is Key
Building habits is all about consistency. Have your little one stick to their routine as much as possible, especially on days when it’s tempting to skip.
2. Make it Fun
Kids are experts in fun! It’s one of those things they’re much better at than we are. That’s why including fun in healthy habits is a must. Here are a few ways to sprinkle this special ingredient in your kiddo’s habits:
Turn it into a Game
We need only look at the success of “The Quiet Game” to understand our kiddo’s love for games. Need to limit screen time? Give extra points for non-screen related activities. Want your kiddo to start a bedtime routine? Declare them a winner if they get their jammies on by 9.
Sing a Silly Tune
Or dance a funny jig! Both are great ways to make healthy habits for kids fun.
Delight their Taste Buds
Think about it – kids don’t eat food because it’s healthy. They eat it because it’s yummy! So give their taste buds their version of fun by making healthy foods tasty. This works like a charm for getting our kiddos to take their vitamins. In fact, Renzo’s Vitamins are so tasty, they’re loved by even picky eaters!
3. Start a Tracker
The accomplishment of checking off that to-do list isn’t only for adults. Kids share that same excitement too! But rather than a boring to-do list, create a fun tracker for our kiddo’s routine with colorful shapes and pictures. And rather than crossing off a task, have your little one color in a square or draw a picture.
Here are ideas for healthy habit trackers you can start today:
- Fruit & Veggie Trackers
- Water Drinking Trackers
- Book Reading Trackers
4. Set Goals
Goal setting is a great tool for creating healthy habits for kids of all ages. It gives our kiddos the confidence and excitement to say, “Yes, I can do it!”
For little ones, you’ll want to start with small goals such as remembering to brush their teeth without mommy telling them. As they achieve small goals, have them set harder ones that challenge them. This builds their confidence and belief in themselves to achieve more and more!
Creating healthy habits is an incredible accomplishment that deserves a reward. Decide on these rewards ahead of time to give your little one something to strive towards, especially when it gets tough!
Here are a few keys to effective reward systems:
- Consider what motivates your child
- Involve them in the process
- Set realistic expectations
You’ll also want to take your child’s age into consideration. For example, younger kids will do great with a sticker reward chart while school-aged kids would appreciate a later bedtime or 30 minutes of extra screen time.
Don’t Give Up!
Instilling healthy habits in your kiddo takes time. But with a consistent routine, a sprinkle of fun, a colorful tracker, a predetermined goal, and a reward that makes your child’s eyes light up, you’re already on the right track!
Let us know what healthy habits your kiddos are working towards this season by tagging us on Instagram @RenzosVitamins.